Deterring theft in the rental yard
By Ashleigh Petersen

Deterring theft in the rental yard

Take 5 for Safety is a monthly article designed to give equipment and event rental stores the information they need to conduct a five-minute safety meeting on a particular topic. Below are talking points for this month’s meeting. The Take 5 for Safety signup sheet can be downloaded below. This can be used to take attendance during the meeting.

The following information is from RentalU — the American Rental Association’s (ARA) online learning platform. Visit for additional safety resources.

Introduction: Many rental locations store equipment outside. This could give would-be thieves the perfect opportunity to view their next target. But there are several things rental store owners and employees can do to help deter theft from the rental yard.

Gates, fencing and barriers

Use effective gates, fencing, posts, barriers, razor/barbed wire and/or other methods of protecting your facility and property borders.

  • Keep fenced areas clear of debris and overgrowth so you can easily see through them.
  • Avoid storing items right next to either side of fences so you don’t provide easy “climb-over” opportunities.
  • “Smash-and-grab” theft is common in the rental industry. Perimeter barriers that stop vehicles from smashing your fence, doors and windows can help prevent this type of theft. The outside property gate and front door are typically the most vulnerable to this type of attack. Consider parking a piece of equipment in front of the gate and using steel posts in front of the front door to prevent this activity.
  • Use appropriate locks — with limited access to keys — on facilities, gates, etc.
  • Utilize reinforced doorframes, window frames and/or shatterproof plexiglass and bars over doors and windows if appropriate; pay particular attention to second-story points of entry, skylights and HVAC ducts.

Securing equipment

There are several simple steps you can take to deter would-be equipment thieves:

  • Store as much equipment as possible inside the building.
  • Keep all outdoor equipment inside the fenced yard.
  • Do not leave equipment loaded on trailers or in trucks.
  • Store and arrange equipment and other assets in an orderly fashion so you would easily notice anything that is missing.
  • Physically check your inventory on a regular basis — especially equipment not in constant use — so you’ll know as soon as possible if something is missing.
  • Chain or cable high-risk equipment at all times. Consider using cables or wire ropes as they are more difficult to cut than chains and may serve as stronger deterrents to theft.
  • Utilize wheel locks and hitch locks on mobile equipment and trailers to protect/immobilize equipment where possible.
Ashleigh Petersen

Ashleigh PetersenAshleigh Petersen

Ashleigh Petersen is the digital communications manager for Rental Management. She writes news and feature articles, plus coordinates the monthly Safety Issue and several sections in the magazine. Ashleigh loves spending time with her husband and young son, baking, gardening and listening to true crime and comedy podcasts.

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